THE RETURN of replaceable lamps and gear in light fittings came closer this month as the UK’s Environment Bill took another step to becoming law.
The legislation – which is set to become law later this year – incorporates onto UK statutes the EU’s eco-design and eco-labelling measures so that they will continue after the transition period from EU membership ends.
The biggest impact to the lighting sector is article 4(1) of the Ecodesign regulations, which effectively bring back removable and replaceable light sources and control gear.
With the advent of LEDs over last two decades, the lighting industry has moved towards luminaires with integrated LED modules and electronics, which can’t be replaced when they fail. Instead, a whole new unit must be purchased.
The Environment Bill will force manufacturers to change their designs so that light sources and gear can be replaced by either the user or a qualified technician.
Recently, LightingEurope, which represents associations of lighting manufacturers across the EU, unveiled the new pictograms that will start appearing on luminaires, showing which products can be serviced by the user and which require a technician.
Under the law, luminaires will be deemed a ‘containing product’.
The Environment Bill is part of a wider trend towards circular economy principles which will see a dramatic increase in reuse and recycling.
It is part of the Government’s commitment in its 25-year Environment Plan ‘to leave the environment in a better state’ for the next generation, and a zero net emissions target by 2050.
The Industrial Strategy has ambitions to double resource productivity and to eliminate avoidable waste by 2050.
The Resources and Waste strategy sets out how the Government will promote resource efficiency and move towards a more circular economy.
The Environment Bill will, once passed into law, give the Government a range of powers to implement circular economy policies, such as wider use of Extended Producer Responsibility.
This includes proposals for ‘eco modulation’ of WEEE charges, which would see producers of environmentally better products receiving lower WEEE bills.
The Government will also require producers to finance the full net costs of packaging recycling could result in charges to producers increasing up to tenfold.
At a major webinar organised by Recolight yesterday, speakers, including Richard Garrett, marketing manager of Signify; Simon Fisher, product designer and principal of F Mark; John Bullock, the environmentalist and lighting designer; Russell Parr, sales and marketing manager of Prime Light; Zoltán Pilter, regulatory affairs manager, Tungsram Group and Torsten Werner, sales manager of Elkamet, explored how the lighting industry could play its role in becoming more sustainable.